Shirley Strong


Shirley Strong

Shirley Elaine Strong (born November 18, 1958) is a British athlete who competed mainly in the 100 metres hurdles.

She competed for Great Britain in the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, U.S. in the 100 metre hurdles where she won the Silver medal.

Strong was born in Cuddington, Cheshire and remained in the village throughout her career. Now known by her married name, Shirley Holloway, she has two daughters and now lives in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. ["New girl on the block", "Northwich Chronicle", July 31 2002]

Career

Strong began her national career in 1977 with second placings in the 100 metres hurdles at both the AAA Championships and the UK Athletics Championships, achieving second place again in 1978 at both championships. Between 1979 and 1984 she won six consecutive golds at the AAA Championships and was UK Champion in 1979, 1980 and 1983.

Strong achieved a creditable fifth place at the 1983 World Championships with a wind-assisted time of 12.78 seconds, still Great Britain's highest-ever placing in the event. [cite web |url=http://www.gbrathletics.com/bm/wc.htm
title=British Medallists IAAF World Championships in Athletics|publisher=gbrathletics.com |accessdate=2007-05-15
]

With the eastern European countries absent through boycott at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Strong went into the 100 metres hurdles event as favourite. However in the final Benita Fitzgerald-Brown of the United States ran the race of her life to take gold in 12.84 seconds, 0.04 seconds faster than the Briton.

After Los Angeles she was frequently troubled by problems with her achilles tendon and failed to qualify for the 1986 Commonwealth Games. After competing in the 1987 indoor season she retired from athletics.

Popularity

At the height of her career Strong was among the most popular athletes in the UK among a public who regarded her as "one of us", and even admitted to having an occasional cigarette after a race. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/funny_old_game/1287366.stm
title=Take a look at me now|publisher=BBC |accessdate=2007-05-15
]

References


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